By Message Staff
CROIX DES BOUQUETS, Haiti – A Louisiana Baptist mission team in Haiti is safe and asking for prayers amidst unrest that broke out in the country late last week.
Darrin Badon, who is in Croix des Bouquets, Haiti, with a team of 35 from Louisiana posted on his Facebook page late Saturday, July 7, they have sought shelter with a few other mission teams from the US.
“Heartbreaking what’s happening in Haiti,” posted Badon, operations director at Istrouma Baptist Church in Baton Rouge. “We had a good day of service on Friday. But things quickly went downhill Friday afternoon through Saturday. We have sheltered in place and are all safe. Our team is set to depart on Tuesday. The teams have done well remaining calm in uncertain times.”
The Associated Press reported at least three people were killed in protests Friday, July 6, after the Haitian government planned a fuel hike from 38 percent to 51 percent. However, the following day the government scrapped those plans.
Cancellation of flights stranded mission teams from states including Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, the Associated Press said.
By late Sunday, July 8, at least three U.S. carriers resumed flying in and out of Haiti’s capital, the Miami Herald reported. Delta’s flight from Atlanta, Georgia, landed and departed, and American Airlines operated round-trip flights from Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the newspaper said.
According to the U.S. State Department website, an alert was posted Sunday that advised US citizens to seek shelter in place. The department advised citizens to not travel to the airport unless they received word the flight is confirmed.
“Telecommunications services, including Internet and phone lines, have been affected throughout Haiti,” the alert stated. “It may be difficult to reach people through normal communication methods.
“U.S. Embassy personnel are still under a shelter-in-place order,” the alert continued. “The embassy will continue to monitor the situation.”
Sandy Robertson, whose daughter Lexie is part of the mission team, said while the experience has been unnerving, she finds assurance that God is near to the team in the time of trouble.
“So far the team has had no incidents and are being kept safe inside a high-walled-off compound with guards,” said Robertson, whose husband, Philip, is pastor of Philadelphia Baptist Church in Deville. “The US Embassy has assured us that they will send additional help for security if needed. We are praying that they will have a safe route to the airport and be able to fly out of Haiti on Tuesday. Our hearts also break for the Haitian people and the innocent lives that are caught up in the middle of this rioting. I can’t imagine being a mom there, where this is part of our everyday life and fight for survival. Please join us in praying for our short term missionaries, their leaders from the Baptist Association of South East Louisiana, and the precious people of Haiti.”
Badon asked for continued prayers.
“Pray the protest ends completely and no other loss of life or property occurs,” he said. “Pray for wisdom in the decision the government makes. Pray for the safety of the Haitian people. Lastly pray for our team and other teams. Pray we have safe passage to the airport and to our homes.”